Gov’t to watch Chi­nese war­plane ac­tiv­ity closely

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

TOKYO (AP): JA­PAN’S TOP gov­ern­ment spokesman warned China yes­ter­day against ex­pand­ing its mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity to the skies over dis­puted East China Sea is­lands af­ter eight Chi­nese war­planes flew near the area on the week­end.

Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga said that Ja­pan scram­bled at least one fighter jet af­ter the planes passed over the Miyako Strait on Sun­day, east of the Ja­panese-con­trolled Senkaku is­lands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyu.

The air­craft, be­lieved to be two fighter jets, four bombers and two re­con­nais­sance air­craft, did not vi­o­late Ja­panese airspace dur­ing a long-dis­tance round-trip flight, Suga said, but it was the first time Chi­nese war­planes had flown that route.

Chi­nese me­dia re­ports said the flights were part of a rou­tine ex­er­cise in­volv­ing about 40 air­craft.

Suga ac­knowl­edged that the flights might be part of an ex­er­cise, but said that Ja­pan would re­spond firmly to any vi­o­la­tion of Ja­panese airspace.


“The gov­ern­ment of Ja­pan con­tin­ues to watch the Chi­nese mil­i­tary’s ac­tiv­ity, which has be­come ex­pan­sive and more ac­tive, while car­ry­ing out our sur­veil­lance ac­tiv­ity,” Suga said. “We are de­ter­mined to de­fend our land, ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters and the skies.”

Three to four Chi­nese coast­guard ships reg­u­larly sail around the dis­puted is­lands, en­ter­ing what Ja­pan considers its ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters a few times a month. They ex­change warn­ings with Ja­panese coast­guard ships, with both sides stak­ing claim to the wa­ters.

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